Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is our government addicted to spending?

I saw this article by former Libertarian VP nominee Wayne Allyn Root and it raised an interesting prospect.  Is our nation's spending problem the national version of an addiction?

Let's look at it.  Like the alcoholic who takes the first sip, we started collecting taxes to build roads, schools, etc.  Then, when our nation hit hard times (like the Great Depression), we needed more.  The government "needed" to help the unemployed.  We started giving out welfare.  Which required more taxes.  We started government-funded infrastructure projects to both employee people and improve our economic infrastructure.  We needed more taxes.  Maybe it started off as an addiction.

But to me, our government's spending problem is more like methadone treatment for a heroine addict.  We are in an economic crisis.  Instead of cutting off our spending, we redirect it.  The government is about to hit its debt ceiling.  The private market has stopped creating new American jobs.  We borrowed too much money, and now our economy is on the verge of collapse, largely because we borrowed too much.  Well, what do our elected officials do?  Do they stop spending?  No, they continue spending.  They redirect their spending to more "healthy" and "productive" outlets, like... extending unemployment benefits.  Continuing to hire more "czars" and "advisers" to build our President's national monument to the Chicago Democratic machine.  Giving cash to first time home buyers.  Giving cash to people to buy "greener" cars.  Giving cash to companies that create "greener" jobs.  Where has it gotten us?

Just like a junky who is in the hospital for heroin use, and leaves just as stoned (although perhaps less at risk for diseases, ODs, and antisocial behavior) on methadone, our economy is still screwed.  We are in the hospital for debt, overspending, and economic restrictions which make us uncompetitive in the labor and industrial market places.  We are leaving with more debt, but this time it is debt in the service of "sustainability" "redistribution of wealth," and "social justice."

The solution is not to spend on different things.  The solution is to stop using.  For our government, that means stop spending.

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